Sunday, February 20, 2005


The Tramposch Family (Peggy, Bill and Molly)

Nothing can make you feel more at ease or comfortable when you are so far from home than the kindnesses of great people. Peggy, Bill and Molly have graciously extended themselves to me from the moment I stood at baggage claim after ending my four plane and 24 hours in the air equals 3 days on the ground journey to Wellington. They are collectively as well as individually so thoughtful, so generous, so helpful, so funny and so much fun to be with...and the real bonus is they haven't shown any overt signs of getting sick of me hanging out with them almost day in and day out. They are Americans with dual citizenship in New Zealand--so in other words, they are brilliant as well. Peggy heads up the senior scholar program at Fulbright and has been my life line to organizing my entire trip throughout NZ including appointments, accommodations and transportation--she is a gem. Peggy could also be the chairperson for Be Active New Zealand (once I get that launched :-0)...she literally, as we say, walks the talk as she hoofs it to and from work each day...remember, I said think of a smaller San Fran when you think of Wellington. So Peggy walks several miles from her house located near the top of Wellington's surrounding hills/mountains and to better this accomplishment she walks back home each night. Bill is the head of the New Zealand Historic or something, something Preservation of NZ Buildings (I need to clarify the exact name before the historical people go hysterical). It is fantastic to talk with him as he knows so much about NZ history, geography and culture--and interestingly, he can also name famous NZ women maiden names. He also maintains the rarely found special charm and personality of a man that enables him to be welcomed in as one of the girls. He is a great man and if he wasn't so nice he would probably do well in Vegas. As the lone male in the household (even the two doggies, Olive and Ruby are girls) Bill maintains the coolness and wisdom to know when to fold. I am certain there are special awards in heaven for men like Bill. Molly is an amazing, thoughtful, smart, intuitive and beautiful woman. She is in her second year of college in Auckland. Molly has been so much fun to be with during my stay and it only takes a short while to recognize that her inter beauty well exceeds her made for TV or movie looks. She is a great young woman with a bright future.

My hope is each one will remain lifelong friends.


Was it Henry Higgins (Enry Iggins) that said "why can't a woman be more like a man"?...well the New Zealand version of that would be: "Why can't an Australian, be more like a Kiwi (New Zealander)"! To say that Kiwis have issues with Aussies would be an understatement. Without exception--every single one of our speakers for the Fulbright program didn't last 10 minutes into their presentation without saying something sarcastic about Australia. For the most part, it was pretty humorous and insightful. New Zealanders often feel like the younger, smaller brother to Australia. I have every sense that Australians view themselves as the essential center of the universe where the sun first rises and last sets....they almost sound familiar, don't they!? I will share Kiwi views of Americans later in blog updates...




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